When you’re the boss, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your employees are doing their jobs to their utmost abilities. After all, if things aren’t running smoothly, you’ll notice a difference in profit and the overall trajectory of the company. Motivating employees can be a daunting task. Everyone has different things that motivate them, and if you use tactics that don’t fit with your employees’ goals, the incentives can look rinky-dink. You also might not have the luxury of giving huge bonuses or other expensive perks. But there are many ways that you can motivate employees that are actually effective with a large segment of people, and some of them are very basic and sometimes even free.
Spruce Up the Place
Sometimes people internalize their exterior world, so if the place that your employees are working in is either aesthetically unpleasant or has equipment that doesn’t work, making a few updates can alter their perceptions about the space and the work that they’re doing. When you let your kitchen employees work with a can opener that is so broken it takes four months and several co-worker mentors to learn how to get it to open a can, this tells your employees that their time at work and frustrations don’t matter. Don’t be surprised if they, in turn, don’t respect their workplace. For office settings, the same is true for basic equipment. You shouldn’t need to conduct a class on how to use the stapler. Furthermore, keep offices clean and maintained even if the public doesn’t see it so employees receive the message that they are valued and respected.
Respect Your Employees
One of the biggest reasons that employees aren’t loyal to a company is because they don’t feel respected by their boss. If you want your employees to be motivated to stay, be respectful in the way that you speak to them and the way that you treat them. And, after all, you should model the way that you would like them to treat you and each other. If you are disrespectful in the way that you speak, don’t be surprised if they start taking it out on each other. And don’t be surprised if their productivity flags because they are spending their time on the wrong things.
Offer Monetary Incentives
There are a lot of ways to motivate your employees that are free, but if you have the budget, you can also consider some kind of monetary reward. If the company meets a goal, you can use the extra revenue to give a bonus. Use time tracking and other objective measures to note progress toward a goal. Not only does this make employees feel valued, but it also gives them a reason to work harder to reach the goal.
Show That You Trust Them
When you show someone that you trust them, they are much more likely to rise to the challenge. Think about the last time that you had a superior who gave you their trust. It probably felt pretty good. Unfortunately, if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably had a boss or two who put your efforts down, too. More than likely, you actually did better work when your boss gave you their confidence because you felt excited rather than fearful.
Give Them Leadership Responsibilities
When people are given the responsibility of leading the group, they feel a sense of purpose and a responsibility to do a good job. They also feel valued that you believe that they can do it.
Promote Your Best Employees
If you want to keep your best employees around for the long haul, promote from within. Employees want to feel like they have a career, not just a job. So make it a habit of noting who your most effective employees are, then give them the opportunity to advance.
Your employees are one of your greatest assets, and you should treat them accordingly. Money can be a motivator, but so can less tangible motivators such as respect, confidence, and the ability to move forward with their careers.
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